#IChooseJoy

It always starts with a choice. Choices begins when your mom says to you (at an age when you’re  beginning to understand such questions)  – “It’s up to you. If you behave  yourself, we can go in the store. If not, we can just go home.” ( I am sure I said that to my kids upon occasion…) Do you want your blankie? Do you want more juice? How about when you finally got to pick out your own clothes – or voice what kind what kind of sandwich you wanted for lunch – or say if you wanted a kitty or a puppy. There is one choice X a million in those formative years.

Then the choices graduated to BIGGER issues. Ah, the teen year choices  – SO many it makes a teen’s head spin, which IS why we need to walk them through this time with some grace and mercy – it is like the whole world has appeared on their doorstep demanding – WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO? There is one choice X a million in those years

Fast forward past childhood and teenage years, into adult hood and all the moments and seasons and circumstances that hurl at you without warning and unexpected – CHOICES come with every food group, every bill, every child, every vacation, every belief you follow, every single item placed within your home, and on and on. There is one choice X a million in those years.

So you find yourself on the OTHER side of critical life changing choices. Maybe you now only answer to your self. Maybe on the other side of marriage, is now widowhood. Maybe now on the other side of parenthood, is now an empty nest. Maybe on the other side of happiness, is…..wait. Other side? There is another side to happiness? Yes. Happiness comes from the outside of your life – things that make you happy ~ they can be big or small ~ such as a vacation on a cruise ship can make you happy just as well as a bowl of pine  cones or a favorite coffee creamer. The other side of happiness is NOT based on things, and is not contingent on tangible things or even your feelings.

The other side of happiness is JOY. And it IS a choice. Hit song – “Happy” ~~~WHY is this SO popular?  BECAUSE WE ALL JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY.  The irony of this is – I can have a big house and find no satisfaction. I can have a ton of friends, and still feel alone. I can have all the ‘toys’, power, fame, bank accounts, and prime vacation spots and STILL be depressed. Happiness is fleeting. That is why you see people who you think SHOULD be happy, and they are not. The definition of HAPPY is:  pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness,  enjoyment, satisfaction. See the word JOY? It IS part of being happy; truly happy. Joy itself means: delight, gladness, triumph, ecstasy, exuberance, euphoria, bliss, rejoicing. The two go together. But ONE is a choice. So, choose JOY. Embrace life….NOT only allowing things to determine your level of delight…joy is an INSIDE thing. It is that peace in the storm thing…it is what holds you together when by all means you should be falling apart. It is MORE than a feel-good fleeting moment that ends when that Pumpkin Latte is gone.

Do I always feel happy? Nope. But in its absence, I can still have joy. I can still have an inner glow in my soul that assures me All Is Well. JOY is a matter of the heart. It is NOT determined by outside forces and if you protect it, it can NOT be stolen by outside forces. After the house is gone, the car is gone, the mate is gone, the family is gone and even the family pet is gone – we can STILL rejoice. joy imageThis is my ONE choice  in these years – after all is said, and done, and gone, I still choose JOY.

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#365ReasonsNOTToGiveUp

I don’t know about you, but when I do something – I generally have to stand back AFTER and ask myself why I did it. It is not a bad idea ever, to examine our motives. We can deceive ourselves. After I hit the word PUBLISH for my first full-length book, I had to ask myself why I did it. It is my sharing of my heart – my real and raw and flawed moments and seasons of many years gone by. I just wrote a book and shared my grief of losing my husband to cancer. I just told you I got mad at God. I just exposed I have been tempted. I let you know I have failed X a million. Why? Because NO matter what circumstances I found myself in, I always chose NOT to give up. And if THAT helps anyone, I would do it again.

I didn’t keep at it because I had all the answers – I STILL don’t. I didn’t see my husband get healed from cancer. I couldn’t keep my house from burning down. What I learned I COULD do, was to keep moving forward. Sometimes that was crawling, or being dragged by a friend….SO why did I write this book? For a book club? To be on a talk show? No. Though that’d be awesome….of course. I wrote it for YOU. And YOU. And You…because we ALL walk this same journey called LIFE. It is filled with the unexpected and detours and pitfalls. We can’t stop that – But we CAN choose to embrace the bad with the good, and find a way for the sorrows and joys to co-exist. My book is about survival, choices, tears, grief, sorrow, failures, mistakes, detours and wrong turns – coupled with stories of friendship, family (lots of personal stories about the people who have made me who I am), love, laughter, giant moths, lost teeth, dandelion seeds, christmas fruit cakes, faith, purpose and above all else – HOPE. I’d love you to purchase it and upload it to your Kindle, and leave me a review so I can know if anyone was helped 🙂 I want you  to be encouraged on a daily basis NOT to give up. For any reason. And to know that there is ALWAYS a day AFTER the worst day of your life.

If you read it, and you are helped, pass it on to someone else…let’s all work together at bringing hope back into a very dark world.~

~Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the .free kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.  httpsCorine-Channell---BOOK-COVER

#WritingIsMyDrugOfChoice

I have loved to write since I was in grade school. I was the kid trying to impress the teacher with my beautiful penmanship, and hopefully witty papers. In high school I got A’s in Poetry. (Yes. Poetry.) My reports always got great grades, and I wrote songs,  musicals, kids programs, and oh just about anything that needed written. BUT it never once crossed my mind to actually pursue WRITING. Not.One.TIme.

After a life where all my white picket fences were tore down, and LIFE  happened, I found I had A LOT to say. Did I write? Not really. It all got stuffed inside in the cracks and crevices of my heart. I have seen our house burn down, lost a husband to cancer, raised 6 kids, experienced depression, and had bitter experiences and painful roads to walk. Quite literally I had painful roads to walk – I had 2 bad knees. No- more like TERRIBLE knees. I was headed for a wheel chair, had I not had a Doctor friend who put it all in motion for me to get 2 brand new knees last year! (thank you Dr.Cassetta).  For ONE year of my life, I had to SIT DOWN. Really. Just sit. I watched whole entire series of TV shows (TV was NOT something I generally sat down to watch. Seriously always distracted!)

THEN A LIGHT WENT ON IN MY HEAD! THE PLANETS ALIGNED! AND I realized I HAVE TIME TO WRITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 and oh boy, write I did. I actually just finished a real BOOK. I am in the process of editing it, then  hopefully find a publisher, or at least some expert advice to point me in the right directions!!!. It is about NEVER giving up. I share 365 reasons why NOT to give up. And, all from my own stories, life lessons, pain, grief, joys, and all the things that make up a life lived out.

Why am I sharing this? Well, one – I still have a lot to say. (hey, women always have something to say…..:) ) AND because just maybe YOU have something inside locked up, that looks past due, or worn out, or forgotten, or dusty,….Restoration means to restore something to its original state…to lovingly polish it up, clean it, and guess what – THAT increases its value.

I CHOOSE to write, to inspire myself first, and then anyone else who possibly needs encouraged. Writing is the place I find my safety…it’s my log cabin in the woods; it’s the song my soul longs to sing; it’s the WHO of WHO I am.

Today, I hope if anyone reads this, that you lift up your weary head, and remember everything you need , is within you. Remember the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz., and how he just wanted some Courageeeeeeee (in that voice…:) – He already had it INSIDE of him!!!!!

So, go write, or sing, or feed the homeless, or take care of animals in a shelter; be a journalist, teach, be a doctor, work in retail, cook, or whatever it is that makes you feel ALIVE!   Image#IShallKeepWriting